Holiday planning

As I mentioned in my annual goals post and my bucket list – I want to visit much of Eastern Europe – Russia, Romania and Bosnia.

Russia is one of the BIG national powers.  I loved Paullina Simon’s books, particularly the Bronze Horseman, and I am in awe of the majestic religious buildings, particularly in a communist country, which in other nations has totally destroyed religious buildings.  I used to think the ‘cold war’ was over – having just watch The Bridge of Spies, but then I applied for my visa and I’m not so sure.  It was incredibly thorough!

(this routine was in the film, and I can guarantee they match!  Though the film’s music was even more emotive)

Romania is definitely off the ‘usual’ tourist path.  Since 2006’s trip was cancelled whilst I live in France, it’s been on my ‘one day’ list.  The first reason for Romania is my fanatical interest in Nadia Comenici – when mum had to go into school on school holidays, she used to put this on to keep us kids quiet.  I am not one for learning to rote a movie’s script – but this film (Nadia) I can!  The film is SO old I have a copy on VHS! It doesn’t exist in DVD or anything new fangled like that.  The second reason is that I made a very close friend in first year university who was Romanian, so I’m curious to see his home town.  In 2006, I booked flights to Romania, however it wasn’t part of the EU and required evidence of USD100 per day! As a young student, I didn’t have that sort of cash sitting idly (I was working as an au pair)!  It was just too hard to get a visa, so at no cost Air France let me change my fare and I went to Rome, which was memorable and delightfully crisp.  To ensure I wasn’t just a dreamer, I’ve read two books set in Romania recently – one at a beachside town where they defect to Turkey.  Another was an American based in Romania with a few other shady characters, trying to survive in the communist state that was slowly dis-assembly all relics of the past.

I read a novel based on the true story of a cellist who played for 27 days after a massacre in a bread queue (via)
I read a novel based on the true story of a cellist who played for 27 days after a massacre in a bread queue (via)

Bosnia is probably best described as ‘trauma tourism’ or similar. The same things that draw me to Holocaust memoirs and visiting Jewish museums interests me in the war.  And… I have an ex boyfriend who is Bosnian.  He shared so little of his culture, but I was always incredibly curious about him and his childhood, having migrated at the age of 12.  Again, I’ve tried to read to ensure I have a better idea of what I’m visiting, and I’m incredibly curious to see this junction of ‘East meets West’ particularly as we’ll now also visit Turkey, which has similar parallels.

So, to date, I’ve booked the long haul flights, in addition to accommodation in two cities of Russia, a flight to Romania, and accommodation in both Bucharest and Sarajevo.  It’s a solid start and I just need to keep chipping away at booking for air travel and hotels.  Thankfully my younger brother is a champ, and happy to go along for the ride.  I bet he ends up knowing all sorts of quirky historic facts, cause he’s that type 😉


6 Replies to “Holiday planning”

  1. Oh my goodness…this is showing my age, but I vividly remember watching those performances by Nadia Comaneci when I was a really small girl (maybe 6 or so.) It was such a sensation at the time to see someone get a perfect 10 at the Olympics. As little girls, we were all obsessed with Nadia, to the point that everyone was joining gym classes and dreaming about perfecting the beam!

    I can see all the lures to visiting that part of the world – definitely a great cultural experience and a chance to travel somewhere that is more challenging with languages and experiences.

    1. Wow to have seen it live would have been amazing! I saw the film and for many years dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast, or an Olympic something. I’m content to not having fulfilled that dream tho!

  2. I will live vicariously through your travels. I have no desire to see any of three counties, except maybe a little of Russia but there are too many other places higher on the list. I had friends who went on a Christian mission to Russia, working in holiday camps for young people who never had a holiday.

    1. I’d be really curious to read your list of (more highly) rated places to visit. I reviewed my ‘bucket list’ last night, and I’m content I’m churning through many of the activities, and destinations. I also realise when I have kids this self centered bucket lists will be out the window and a lot of my aspirations and hopes will rest with my children (not completely, but it will take a lot of time).

      I’ve also gotta say – your China and Korea jaunts if I’m not mistaken – are totally not my thing. I’d go if I was ‘sent’ for work, but otherwise, no inherent interest. Takes all types right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.